year of the lady


Here’s the thing—when you find yourself saying “fuck” a lot and sled riding with a bottle of Scotch and two guys you just met at the bar, you get to thinking about whether you should try to act like a lady once in a while. But just what does it mean to be a lady anyway?

To begin to find out, I did what most of us would: I asked Google. For those of you who don’t know, searching “lady” gets you the Wikipedia page, a dictionary definition, Lady Gaga lyrics, a drag queen by the name of Lady Bunny, and, if you don’t have safe search on, ladies without their clothes on. With the exception of Lady Gaga (because, despite what NPR says, I just don’t care), I took the time to see what those sources had to say about being a lady.

As it turns out, being a lady can mean quite a few things. You can be poor and be a lady, rich and be a lady, you can even be a man and be a lady. A lady can refer to a refined woman, a woman who speaks well, or simply a woman. Lady can be a compliment or an insult, a title or label, pronoun or slang.

So, what? Being a lady means whatever you want it to mean? Sure. Well, sure enough. We do indeed have a definition, however varied and indecisive it may be. We also have ladies to aspire to be like, tips for being a lady, and a list of what not to do (“That’s not very ladylike!”).

To figure out what being a lady means to me, I have decided to think about and act like all kinds of ladies while breaking the only rule I know so far: A lady reveals nothing.


One Response to “year of the lady”

  1. 1 Laura

    So, I just read this first entry, and I’m so excited to read the rest you’ve already posted, and future entries. I might comment on them frequently, because I’m entranced by the idea of writing about our perhaps-unladylike-ness. I mean, I think it’s pretty obvious that this kind of thing would be right down my alley, but I’m just warning you. :)

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